The DOJ released memos that were made public on Tuesday that were sent to the Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Obama administrations.
The memos released stated that a president should not appoint a relative to the White House or an advisory commission. The memos were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act requested by Politico and you can read them here.
The newly-disclosed opinions, issued to the Nixon, Carter and Reagan White House and obtained by POLITICO Monday through a Freedom of Information Act request, detail how Justice Department lawyers concluded for decades that such appointments of family members were illegal under an anti-nepotism law passed in 1967.
“You have asked for our opinion on the question whether the President could appoint Mrs. Carter to be Chairman of a Commission on Mental Health proposed to be established in a forthcoming Executive Order. It is our opinion that he may not,” acting Assistant Attorney General John Harmon wrote in a February 1977 memo to Carter White House Associate Counsel Douglas Huron.
However, these memos were overruled Daniel Koffsky, deputy assistant attorney general in January who wrote:
“In choosing his personal staff, the President enjoys an unusual degree of freedom, which Congress found suitable to the demands of his office,” wrote Daniel Koffsky, deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel, which serves as interpreter of federal law for the White House.
In essence, Koffsky reasoned that the anti-nepotism law covers only appointments in an “executive” agency and that the White House Office is not an executive agency within the law. He cited a separate law that gives the President broad powers to hire his staff.
That law authorizes the president to appoint “employees in the White House office without regard to any other provision of law regulating the employment or compensation of persons in the government service.”
“A President wanting a relative’s advice on governmental matters, therefore, has a choice: to seek that advice on an unofficial, ad hoc basis without conferring the status and imposing the responsibilities that accompany formal White House positions; or to appoint his relative to the White House under title 3 and subject him to substantial restrictions against conflicts of interest,” Koffsky wrote.
“We believe that the President’s special hiring authority in 3 U.S.C. § 105(a) permits him to make appointments to the White House Office that the anti-nepotism statute might otherwise forbid,” Koffsky wrote.
He acknowledged that while his conclusion “departs” from “prior work” of the Office of Legal Counsel, “this departure is fully justified.”
In summary, in January the DOJ had no problems with Ivanka and Jared being allowed to serve at the White House and a legal brief was filed.
Do you have a problem with Jared and Ivanka working at the White House? Or is this another attempt to rip apart the Trump Administration?